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Growth & Jobs | Focus on game development and animation - Thorpe

Published:Monday | January 14, 2019 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Sean Thorpe, president of the Jamaica Computer Society.

A call is being made for there to be a renewed focus on game development and animation as potential contributors to Jamaica's growth markets.

Sean Thorpe, president of the Jamaica Computer Society, said there is a perfect opportunity to broaden job opportunities and specially engage young creatives who in the past never saw gaming and animation as part of any digital skills-based structure.

"Computer-game development in our culture has often been associated with personal entertainment, including sports, and reminds me of my own days of the Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat games, just to name two," he said.

"However, very little has been said about how we treat what many youngsters grow up on as a hobby to now be seen as a clear career opportunity path that you can now engage as a part of the new 21st-century digital workplace," he continued.

Thorpe added: "It has become well-established that gaming has grown to be a United States-valued multibillion-dollar industry, with over some US$100 billion

in revenue as at 2018 and climbing."

Thorpe said that the end-user market for the games has given rise to the phenomenon of electronic sports, which, according to him, is a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States of America.

"Arguably, it will be the millennials, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z who will form the new clientele of this burgeoning industry, with very little thought, if you ask me, as to how our current local industries can realise the major benefits to be derived from the promotion of our small and medium-sized businesses by developing appealing product lines that integrate games and e-sports as a new market segment," he said.




Thorpe noted, too, that teams of animators and game developers have been working together to develop destination-experience tourism and entertainment e-products, as well as cybersecurity investigative e-products, especially where crime-scene reconstruction is an increasing trend.

"It is without doubt that these emergent jobs represent an interdisciplinary of skills integrated with traditional computing to realise these new talent markets," the president said.

"The current effort by Government, through the Youth Empowerment and Animation Development initiative, along with Jampro's new animation business programme initiatives, represents levers for which to start a national round-table discussion that engages the private sector, academia, along with all other public-sector groups to continue the dialogue on how gaming and e-sports can form a part of the national agenda on developing new digital skills for employment."